MIT Reports to the President 1996-97


Concourse is a highly structured and integrated program for freshmen covering the standard core curriculum in mathematics, physics, chemistry, and humanities. The structure of Concourse follows that of the standard curriculum with scheduled lectures, recitations, problem sets and quizzes. Small class size (limited to 64 students) and extensive personal interaction with senior faculty and tutors provide students with the intimate atmosphere of a small school while retaining all of the excitement and resources of a large institution like MIT.

62 freshmen enrolled in Concourse for fall term which represented a 7% increase over the fall of 1995. Spring term's enrollment was 32, a 32% decrease from the spring of 1996 but also virtually identical to the spring registration in 1995.. Registration for IAP 1997 was limited to fourteen students who participated in Concourse's twelve-unit course on problem solving, a 56% increase over IAP 1996.

The success of SP330, "The Meeting of Art and Science Through Method" and SP344, "Problems in Electricity and Magnetism," both first offered last year, continues into the second year. "The Chicken From Minsk," a book based on SP345, continues to receive favorable public recognition: by Roger Penrose in the September 27 Times Higher Education Supplement, and by Karen Johnson in the Annals of Improbable Research (vol. 3 #2).

Members of the Concourse faculty for 1995-96 were: Professor Robert M. Rose, Department of Materials Science and Engineering; Professor Judah L. Schwartz, School of Engineering and Harvard School of Education; Lior Pachter and Harry L. Wolfgang, Department of Mathematics; Dr. Jeremy Wolfe, Department of Brain and Cognitive Science; Dr. Yuri Chernyak, Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology; Roberta Brawer, Program in Science, Technology and Society; Dr. Christopher Sawyer-Laucanno, Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies; Dr. Jerome Y. Lettvin, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Dr. Kevin Rhoads and Cheryl Butters, School of Engineering. Sixteen MIT undergraduates in the fall, three undergraduates over IAP and six undergraduates in the spring were employed as teaching assistants for recitations, tutorials, and grading.

The Concourse Program was overseen by Robert M. Rose as Director and by Cheryl A. Butters as Program Coordinator.

Robert M. Rose

MIT Reports to the President 1996-97